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Title:Response of Illinois municipal water systems to a prolonged period of drought
Author(s):Es, J.C. van; Keasler, L.C.; Whittenbarger, R.L.
Contributor(s):University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Eastern Illinois University
Subject(s):Water resource development
Water resource development--Illinois
Human dimensions
Local planning
Urban water management
Municipal water system
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:This research evaluates the impact of the 1976-1977 extended periods of shortage of rainfall on Illinois municipal systems. The analysis determines how municipalities responded to the drought and to what extent the experience of the drought has left a lasting impact on the way in which municipal water systems operate. Excluded from the analysis were water systems in the suburban areas of the large metropolitan cities. Data were obtained from 66 municipalities which had not been affected by the drought and 25 municipalities which had to deal explicitly and publicly with the shortage of water caused by the period of drought. The research is a continuation of an earlier study on municipal water systems in small and medium-sized Illinois municipalities. The data were obtained through questionnaires sent to the mayors, and additional data were obtained from the water systems operator in each municipality. Follow-up on the mailed questionnaires was done both by phone and through extensive personal studies of a number of smaller municipalities. When comparing municipalities affected by the drought and those not affected by the drought we find that prior to the drought those municipalities affected by it were more likely to have smaller water systems, show a smaller margin between daily rated capacity and maximum daily usage, and rely more heavily on surface water sources. There is no evidence that the municipalities which subsequently experienced the drought were significantly and systematically less well managed than the municipalities which did not experience the drought. Municipalities affected by the drought made efforts to both increase the supply of available water and decrease demands for available water. Few municipalities succeeded in obtaining water from other sources; it was either too expensive or not available to them. Municipalities made widespread attempts to conserve the usage of water. Those municipalities which were not directly affected by the drought made very few changes in the way their water systems operate or in the way they handle the demand for service on their water system. Municipalities affected by the drought, however, frequently made changes in the water system operations which continued in effect beyond the end of the drought and which, in some cases, were not instituted until after the drought had subsided.
Issue Date:1980-06
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Rights Information:Copyright 1980 held by J.C. van Es, L.C. Keasler, R.L. Whittenbarger
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-05-02

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